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  1. #1
    Black Magic Buzzard Kra's Avatar
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    Default I Think I May Have Messed Up Bigtime.

    I'm a capable learner, but I went through an academic period in which I had no ambition and was in crisis state due to not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, and thus made a D in Calculus. Which wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't taken it twice. I was lazy, and did not practice the homework. My GPA is still in the 3.3 range though.

    There's no excuse for that, I know. But I am over that phase.

    However, here I am, 3 years of working in IT networks later, with an AA, and I'm starting to doubt the outlook of my career (jobs in the field are diminishing for more reasons than just a bad economy). I have the discipline to go back to school, but I've noticed most decent (as in, potential employers don't throw your application in the trash bin after seeing your alma-mater) engineering or math-based universities will not accept me as a matter of principle, even if I retake the class with the discipline required.

    Well, after looking through career options, I've noticed that most schools are like that, and most degrees that pay well are math heavy.

    Have I boned myself financially for the rest of my life?
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  2. #2
    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kra View Post
    I'm a capable learner, but I went through an academic period in which I had no ambition and was in crisis state due to not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, and thus made a D in Calculus. Which wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't taken it twice. I was lazy, and did not practice the homework. My GPA is still in the 3.3 range though.

    There's no excuse for that, I know. But I am over that phase.

    However, here I am, 3 years of working in IT networks later, with an AA, and I'm starting to doubt the outlook of my career (jobs in the field are diminishing for more reasons than just a bad economy). I have the discipline to go back to school, but I've noticed most decent (as in, potential employers don't throw your application in the trash bin after seeing your alma-mater) engineering or math-based universities will not accept me as a matter of principle, even if I retake the class with the discipline required.

    Well, after looking through career options, I've noticed that most schools are like that, and most degrees that pay well are math heavy.

    Have I boned myself financially for the rest of my life?
    No, don't fret.

    Same thing happened to me, but I did worse due to countless illnesses and even more lack of ambition due to those illnesses and sheer boredom. The school I went to made you feel like you were eternally in an academic prison, so I found it very difficult to become motivated....anyway, you're not fucked. Try to get into schools, but if you can, talk to the dean of admissions personally to up your chances of getting in. Plus you don't have to go to an overly accredited school, you could just go to a decent state college for the most part, but that depends on what you want to do with your life, I guess.

    Also, if that doesn't work out, there are a lot of jobs that don't require more than a year of training that pay up in the six digit range, like becoming a mortician or a helicopter med tech if money is your primary concern. (they pay around 80k - 85k at the start I believe).

  3. #3
    Black Magic Buzzard Kra's Avatar
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    Thanks for the assurance. It can be mind-racking to worry over at times.

    I was planning on using my job experience and going after the CCNA to CCIE path, and later supplementing that with an online bachelors. But I keep hearing how less and less of those are needed as tech progresses. So, naturally, the J in me starts to panic, and I start thinking that I should have just sucked it up and finished the engineering program I was aiming for.
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  4. #4
    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kra View Post
    Thanks for the assurance. It can be mind-racking to worry over at times.

    I was planning on using my job experience and going after the CCNA to CCIE path, and later supplementing that with an online bachelors. But I keep hearing how less and less of those are needed as tech progresses. So, naturally, the J in me starts to panic, and I start thinking that I should have just sucked it up and finished the engineering program I was aiming for.
    Can you still go back and finish elsewhere, or even at the same place?

  5. #5
    Black Magic Buzzard Kra's Avatar
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    It's a community college, so it wouldn't offer the full 4 year degree, just the prereqs (that I messed up).

    There are still a few online programs open to me, but all I ever hear about them is that they are "degree mills" or some other such frightening comments.

    Not being able to be a full-time student from the get-go sucks.
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  6. #6
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    Can you retake the calculus for a higher grade? At my CC, if you got a C or lower, you could retake the class for a higher grade.

  7. #7
    THIS bitch stringstheory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kra View Post
    I have the discipline to go back to school, but I've noticed most decent (as in, potential employers don't throw your application in the trash bin after seeing your alma-mater) engineering or math-based universities will not accept me as a matter of principle, even if I retake the class with the discipline required.

    i'm curious as to how you drew this conclusion? if my experience has taught me anything, it's that a few bad grades (especially one) is not going to ruin you. especially if you were having a difficult time in your life. i really wouldn't worry.

    also, if i'm thinking of the same online-programmes that you are, yes they basically are expensive degree mills. have you considered state schools with good programmes in your desired field?
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Blown Ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kra View Post
    Have I boned myself financially for the rest of my life?
    Absolutely not. I think you are overestimating how much value potential employers put into what I will call "rote" credentials. You may not be able to get into a prestigious college but you still have plenty of options. Try to find a high quality public university and use your AA to enter as a transfer student. If there is an issue being accepted (generally it is more competitive for transfer students) you can study for and take (or retake) the SAT or ACT and put some extra time into your application essay to boost your chances.

    With a completed degree your past GPA would no longer be prevalent information. At that point, you'll just have to utilize the credentials and experience you have. Getting an interview is the challenging part and that is all about knowing how to write your resume so it survives the hiring department's selection process. Once you get the interview it's usually going to be between you and 1-3 other candidates, and even if your credentials are not brilliant you still have just as much opportunity to impress them with how you handle the interview! For positions that require a technical interview, there is also potential for you to study and excel regardless of your credentials.

    As far as IT certifications, they are going the way of the bachelor degree in the sense that not having them is generally bad but having them will not help you that much. This goes moreso for Microsoft certifications. Cisco and Juniper still seem to hold their water, and CCIE status will always be a golden ticket because the lab portion proves that you can perform in the line of fire.

    The job market is very challenging right now because of the shortage of jobs and the fact that what employers really want is someone who will be a high performer (either by direct experience or personal qualities). They know this often has nothing to do with rote credentials but they still expect you to have those as well (usually you'll need them to secure the interview and your innate value will get you the job). However, look at all of this as a positive in your case - if you're qualified it wont matter as much that you didn't go to a prestigious college and getting your education finished now means things may be better in a couple years when you're ready to look for employment.

  9. #9
    Black Magic Buzzard Kra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringstheory View Post
    i'm curious as to how you drew this conclusion? if my experience has taught me anything, it's that a few bad grades (especially one) is not going to ruin you. especially if you were having a difficult time in your life. i really wouldn't worry.

    also, if i'm thinking of the same online-programmes that you are, yes they basically are expensive degree mills. have you considered state schools with good programmes in your desired field?
    I've taken the class twice already, and unfortunately, most of the nearby state schools have a clause in their pre-reqs for transfers that states that only 2 of your critical tracking classes can be re-taken, and a C must be obtained by the second take, or you are ineligible for admission.

    The nearby part is important, as I currently have a job that allows me to gain experience in the field (IT Networking), and I'm 3 years in already. So I'm not comfortable giving that up, and thus stuck with a non-traditional class schedule (UF in particular seems to hate that).

    I'm thinking that I should just ride it out and go for the CCIE while relying on my experience as a selling point.
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  10. #10
    Pumpernickel
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    (Completely unfamiliar with american schools) Can't you just go to a shitter school, get good grades, and transfer into a top notch one? Wouldn't they then just look at those grades and not any that you had before at other schools?

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